Friday, June 11, 2010

Foursquare - Need Help Researching

I'm conducting a study that I hope to publish and that will inform my dissertation research on foursquare.

Why foursquare? Although in its infancy, I am curious if foursquare will emerge as a leading platform for citizens to annotate their city and connect with like-mined individuals. Such online participation has larger implications, as it can foster similar participation in political, cultural, and economic realms. It is possible, however, that foursquare is popular for gaming and novelty, and it is not a new source of citizen civic participation.

Launched March 2009, foursquare is as a combination of social networking application, user-generated city guide, and entertainment/diversion. Users post their physical location, write reviews, view other users’ postings, and compete for honours (e.g. badges).

I therefore wish to explore: 1) what motivates users to participate, 2) how they use the application 3) what types of information are users seeking.

I propose to study users first by online observation of their publicly-available behaviour and then conduct email interviews. I'm also conducting autoethnography of my own usage, which I'll be posting here.

But I need help?
Please share below any things you love or hate about foursquare, problems you encountered, what you think its strengths or future potential is, any thoughts or experiences.

I also need people who would consent to be interviewed via email on their usage (5-7 questions). Finally, if there is a Toronto-area person who I could meet at a cafe and observe for about 30 minutes as they do a few check-ins that would be great. All research would be confidential.

But even if you just know of a good article or have some insight to share here, that would be greatly appreciated!

Here's my profile on my Faculty website.


Nikki Dettmar said...

Hey! I'm a friend of Connie Crosby's and am happy to help with the interview part from the perspective of a relative Foursquare newbie with ideas about chocolate and other rewards for checking in at the library and seeking assistance from the librarian ( . While I'd love to have coffee in Toronto I don't think that'll happen since I'm in Seattle though :)

Michelle Tampoya said...

Hey Glen,

I used to use foursquare/gowalla but stopped. The main reason is because I didn't want people to know when I wasn't home and where I was most times. I may be over reacting but I have a little girl and must think of her first. Other reasons I stopped? I am a creature of habit most days, so between the Holts Cafe, work, subway and a few shops near my probably would know where to find me if you needed to. If I was somewhere new and wanted people to know, I would just tweet it. easier and don't feel compelled to foursq it all the time. Hope this helps and if you need more reasoning or want me to fill in your Q&A, msg me on FB.